Rest-pause training has got to be one of the hardest ways to train I have ever known. It places an extreme demand on your body in a very short period of time.
If you're not familiar with it, it basically goes like this: Choose a heavy, basic mass-building exercise for a body part, let's say deadlifts for your back. Now we all know that compressing more effort and energetic expenditure into a shorter time period equals more intensity. More intensity means more improvement.
Rack The Weight
Do your normal 6-8 rep set of deadlifts hard and rack the weight. Deads are just an example, you can use any exercise - just choose a heavy, difficult one for best results.
After your initial set of 6-8 reps, count 20 seconds and pull the same weight right back off the rack and bang out more until you can do no more. Wait another 20 secs and do it again! This will fry reserves of muscle not normally called on during normal 6-8 rep sets. It will kick your aside, amigo!
You just basically did three hard, heavy sets in a very short period of time - which places a major demand on your body, which leads to improvement. It differs from drop sets in that you don't reduce the weight being used.
| What Is A Drop Set?
A drop set is a set where you do as many reps as you can with a certain weight, then immediately lower the weight and do more reps. There should be as little rest as possible between sets.
You just whip the strength fibers until they keel over dead. If you load up your 8 Rep Max on the bar, the three sets reps should be 8, then maybe 4-6, and then 2-4 on your last. Be ready for a little soreness, though, because it is hell on your body - which is what you want.
| What Does 8 Rep Max Mean?
An "RM" specifies the maximum number of times (reps) you can lift a weight before hitting muscular failure. Thus, your 8 Rep Max is the exact, heaviest weight that you can properly lift 8 times - but not 9 times - during one set. Click here for more information.
To Fully Tax Your System
If you're tough enough, you might need two sets of this to fully tax your system. If you do this for legs, be ready to die for your cause! Also, remember to use a slightly higher rep range for legs because they are mostly slow twitch fibers (endurance) and heavy, lower rep sets for everything else.
Now a tip on some leg training. Combine leg extensions and leg presses into one pre-exhaustion superset.
| What Are Supersets?
A superset is the alternating back and forth between two (or more) exercises until the prescribed number of sets is complete, usually with no rest between exercises. There are various types of supersets, however.
Find more definitions in our glossary.
Also make each set of each exercise drop sets. This means do a set of leg extensions and without rest, lower the resistance and do another set of leg extensions and repeat once more till 3 drop sets are completed.
Now, your quads should be on fire, so it's time to throw some gasoline on them! Without rest from the leg extension drop sets, jump into a set of leg presses for at least 15-30 or more reps.
Again, do 3 drop sets without rest on the leg presses. This will not be easy! I guarantee that your mind will quit from the pain long before your legs physically fail! Test your dedication to improvement and prove me wrong if you can! If you succeed, your legs will just plain explode with growth and that's a promise!
You can't get away with brief 6-8 rep sets for legs and get the best results like you can with other body parts. You have to grind out rep after excruciating rep and love it if you want some good legs. If you don't believe me, look at Tom Platz or Lee Priest.
Both do 100-rep sets for legs on a regular basis and Tom - who may have developed the freakiest quads ever - said they didn't start gettin' freaky till he broke out the 100 rep sets and torched them.
So, give it a try and don't be a &*%#ing quitter halfway through because it hurts and then say something like "reps don't really work for legs" or "I don't have good genetic potential in my legs" - as this just means you are making excuses. No excuses for legs - you just gotta work hard if you want 'em...!